Hundreds of Illegal Miners Trapped In South African Goldmine

Rescuers are trying to reach the trapped miners at a site east of Johannesburg

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Updated Feb. 16 at 4:36 p.m. EST

More than 200 miners have been trapped while illegally mining for gold in an abandoned South Africa mine shaft, though rescue workers say that many men underground who have been reached refuse to leave for fear of arrest. 

Rescuers were communicating with 30 miners who were trapped by fallen boulders, who said more than 200 were trapped further below an old mine site in Benoni, a suburb east of Johannesburg, Reuters reports. At least 12 miners were escorted to safety, dehydrated but in good health, but many are still underground.

Authorities brought in heavy equipment to remove boulders from the mine, which is being prospected by a Chinese-owned bullion producer but not currently worked.

Illegal mining of shafts is common in mineral-rich South Africa, where miners informally excavate ore in dangerous conditions.

This story has been updated to reflect the rescue of 12 miners and some miners’ refusal to leave the mine.

[Reuters]

35 comments
Alejandra Garcia
Alejandra Garcia

The cover for the magazine putting peña nieto as the savior of Mexico is offensive and ridiculous to the millions of mexicans, especially in the border states, that are suffering and helplessly watching how our country becomes an even worst example of corruption and non-accountability at the same time that our day to day lives worsten socially, economically, professionally and more. the gap between the rich and the poor widens every day that this unbelievably stupid "president" is "guiding" the country. I wonder how much money you TIME got paid to do this as a cover. It diminishes your credibility, it is a joke to you and your reputation as a formerly serious journalistic magazine. I , along with millions of mexicans suffering the results of this as$$%&*(h())les' presidency am disgusted and insulted. You should be ashamed of yourselves for your lack of credibility and research that show in publishing this piece. You should send a serious, non corruptable journalist to Mexico and do the research, talk to the people, talk to bussinesmen, talk to educators, talk to students,talk to REAL journalists, talk to politicians. SHAME ON YOU!!!!! Your reputation is Mexico, is as of this cover, converted to poop.

Kevin Veidt
Kevin Veidt

Too lazy to read....illegal ,miners? People are running into S. Africa? Wtf?

Siphiwe Gasa
Siphiwe Gasa

serves them right for stealing from earth

Stefan Grobler
Stefan Grobler

Please get your facts right... Firstly, the illegal miners does not refer to age or race. The mine which was closed down, was raided by untrained people illegally entering the closed mine. This is the same as people illegally entering your locked house. I do believe that although this is a criminal offense and that they should be held responsible for it, it is an outcry of desperation and poverty which was brought in by corrupt leaders and governance. Thus it is blood on their hands if lives are lost.

Siyasanga Siya
Siyasanga Siya

@ Anthony former president Nelson Mandela's successor drafted a BEE (Black Economi Empowerment) policy that forced all businesses to adhere to it.Unfortunately his term came to an end his successor however is only concerned about enriching himself and his immidiate family.Yeah let's hope they'll replace him with somebody who is gonna continue where Thabo Mbeki left off.This is really an insult in the face of our young and vibrant democracy .

Renee Andrea Vaughn
Renee Andrea Vaughn

Who cares about all that? There are something like 200 people stuck underground...suffering. ..they have families....they probably need water..geesh...have some compassion. ..

Renee Andrea Vaughn
Renee Andrea Vaughn

Thats horrible...will be praying for their safety. ..they may be illegally mining, but do not deserve to die a terrible death for it...too sad...:(

Anthony R. Ravenell
Anthony R. Ravenell

I understand but why when South Africa being a Black majority havent those who lived there forced businesses to equally share the wealth when they reaped it during apartheid? Come on now as there has to be something else that is preventing this which are other Black South Africans who are reaping benefits who are in power as well?

Siyasanga Siya
Siyasanga Siya

@ Anthony this mining issue is really a burning issue here in RSA (South Africa) at the moment.Indeginous people like myself only own 13% of our land,majority of it is still at the hands of the previous oppressors and the European companies.

Anthony R. Ravenell
Anthony R. Ravenell

What are the illegal miners not from the native country of where the mine is located? Or are these individuals who lived there all their lives and affluent, greedy businessman sending the residents in the mines to search for God again while reaping the wealth as they done so historically?

Siyasanga Siya
Siyasanga Siya

That's a very good question you are asking Thomas.

Siyasanga Siya
Siyasanga Siya

@Thomas indeginous South Africans like myself only own 13% of our land.The rest is still in possesion of foreign companies and the "previous oppressors" white minority.Hence those people are referred to as "illegas" in every sense.

Masilo Koenane
Masilo Koenane

Crazy, these miners were thirty in a mine that is no longer used !

David Rogers
David Rogers

Sandra: Can you say Troll? Wrong place and time for cheap advertising!!!

David Rogers
David Rogers

Jamal Jeffrey: wow, that's all you took away from the story?!

Sandra Hernandez
Sandra Hernandez

I­­­­­­'­­­­­­m m­­­a­­­­­­­­­k­­­­­­­­­i­­­­­­­­­n­­­­­­­­­­­­g­­­ ­­­o­­­­­­v­­­e­­­r ­­­­­­­­­$­­­­­­­­­7­­­­­­­­­­­­k­­­ ­­­­­­­­­a­­­­­­­­­ ­­­m­­­­­­­­­o­­­­­­n­­­­­­t­­­h ­­­w­­­o­­­r­­­­­­­­­k­­­­­­­­­i­­­n­­­g p­­­­­­­­­a­­­­­­r­­­­­­t ­­­t­­­­­­­­­i­­­m­­­e­­­­­­­­­. ­­­I­­­ ­­­k­­­­­­­­­e­­­p­­­t h­­­e­­­a­­­r­­­i­­­n­­­g o­­­t­­­h­­­e­­­r p­­­e­­­o­­­p­­­l­­­e ­­­­­­­­­t­­­­­­e­­­­­­l­­­­­­l m­­­­­­e h­­­­­­­­­o­­­­­­­­­w m­­­­­­u­­­­­­c­­­­­­h m­­­­­­o­­­­­­n­­­­­­e­­­­­­y t­­­­­­h­­­­­­­­­e­­­­­­y c­­­a­­­­­­­­­n m­­­­­­­­­a­­­­­­­­­k­­­­­­­­­e o­­­n­­­l­­­i­­­n­­­e s­­­­­­­­­o ­­­I­­­ d­­­­­­e­­­c­­­i­­­d­­­e­­­d t­­­o l­­­o­­­o­­­k ­­­i­­­­­­n­­­t­­­o ­­­­­­i­­­t­­­­­­.­­­ ­­­­­­W­­­e­­­l­­­­­­l­­­, ­­­i­­­­­­t­­­­­­ ­­­w­­­a­­­s­­­ ­­­a­­­l­­­l­­­­­­­­­ ­­­t­­­r­­­u­­­e­­­ ­­­a­­­n­­­d­­­ ­­­h­­­a­­­s­­­ ­­­t­­­o­­­t­­­a­­­l­­­l­­­y­­­­­­ ­­­­­­­­­changed­­­ ­­­m­­­y­­­ ­­­l­­­i­­­f­­­e­­­.­­­ ­­­T­­­h­­­i­­­s­­­ ­­­i­­­s­­­ ­­­w­­­h­­­a­­­t­­­ ­­­I­­­ ­­­d­­­o­­­.­­­.­­­. w­w­w.­j­o­b­s­w­o.­c­o­m

Heather Hollaar
Heather Hollaar

Goodness what a horrible way to try and make some money

Jamal Jeffrey
Jamal Jeffrey

Illegal miners?? African children are suckling their mother en you refer to them as 'Illegal miners'???

David Rogers
David Rogers

Kevin Harbo: wrong, I have disdain for both sides!

Benita Davis
Benita Davis

hundreds? I read from a credible news source that it was less than 100. Who it's your source for this information?

Stephen Haupt
Stephen Haupt

I bet they will think twice before illegally mining for gold again

Kevin Harbo
Kevin Harbo

is is using language to give you automatic disdain for them, which by default makes you back the owners. Also known as the people who own the media.

David Rogers
David Rogers

Illegal "Miners"!!! Not illegals in the illegal immigrant sense! It's important to make sure and read the article before making a comment. Then you won't look stupid. Just saying.

Gagan Maggo
Gagan Maggo

amanpour should interview mnistry of mines & demand rescue mission for trapped miners.

Alan E Kennedy
Alan E Kennedy

... Figures; are the Owners down there digging them out? ...

auronlu
auronlu

how can a Mexican with more Native American blood than most of us be considered an illegal?